Federation on a Mission to Make You a Traveler instead of a Tourist

By Karen on 06/12/2012 @ 06:56 PM

“The traveler sees what he sees; the tourist sees what he has come to see.”

To me, this statement by English writer G. K. Chesterton clarifies the difference between a Greater Miami Jewish Federation mission and a tour. A Federation mission attempts to make its participants travelers as opposed to tourists. We hope to open your eyes to much more than just the usual tourist spots. We strive to enrich your understanding of Israel and its people beyond the usual historical, archaeological and religious elements.

A mission is not a tour, it is travel; and according to writer Miriam Beard, “travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

Yes, we will take you on a tour to the Kotel, but we also want you to see and experience the efforts of Federation partner the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) as they continue to secure the Jewish future in Israel for new olim by facilitating aliyah, engaging young Jews in social activism and forging strong connections to the people and land of Israel through programs like Taglit-Birthright Israel and MASA.

Yes, we will take you on a tour to Yad Vashem, but we also want you to see and experience the humanitarian assistance of Federation partner the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) who invests in Israel’s people in many ways including through youth-at-risk and senior programs to insure the future of the nation.

Yes, we will take you on a tour to Masada but we also want you to see and experience the amazing work of Ayalim, an organization of young men and women whose mission it is to develop the Negev and Galilee, by visiting one of their villages and participating in a hands-on project with them.

Yes, we will take you on a jeep tour and for lunch at a winery in the Galilee but we also want you to see and experience our partnership city of Pardes-Channa Karkur near Haifa where 120,000 Ethiopians are living, many facing unique challenges due to the difficulties of moving from a relatively primitive society to a highly technological world.

You will not only get to tour those sites but will also see and experience the efforts of Federation’s partner agencies through hands-on experiences and Mifgash (encounters) with the people who are benefiting from the programs that your dollars support.

In short, a mission is a “whole” travel experience with a purpose – and the purpose is to open your eyes and your heart to the many wonders of our spiritual homeland…Israel.

“The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sightseeing.’” Daniel J. Boorstin, American historian, professor, attorney, and writer.

To see Israel as a traveler with a Greater Miami Jewish Federation mission, please check our website http://jewishmiami.org/about/departments/missions for future mission announcements or contact the Missions Department at 786.866.8436 or Missions@JewishMiami.org to be placed on a list to receive future mission information.

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